What are Social Determinants of Health?

Social Determinants of Health (SDoH) are the non-medical elements in a person’s life that still play an important role in determining their overall health and quality-of-life. For many years, social determinants of health, such as having a stable place to live and adequate employment, were not necessarily accounted for when treating a person’s medical or behavioral health conditions. We now know, however, that meeting these social needs and reducing harmful risks are essential to a person’s overall wellbeing.

Social determinants of health are often categorized into the following five subject areas:

Healthcare Access & Quality: SDoH factors in this category can include a person’s health insurance status, proximity to quality healthcare providers, or degree of access to prescription medications.

Education: This can include the degree to which someone is able to read, the quality or accessibility of schools in their neighborhood, and how much education they have.

Social and Community Context: The degree to which you were bullied or discriminated against, the incarceration status of your family members, and the degree to which you feel comfortable and connected to your community are all SDoH factors that fall within this category.

Economic Stability: The degree to which a person has experienced poverty, their level of access to adequate employment or job training opportunities, and degree of access to healthy foods and housing all fall within the economic stability category of SDoH.

Neighborhood & Environment: SDoH factors in this category can include the rate of violent crimes in a person’s neighborhood, the quality of the air and water nearby, and the degree to which someone experiences safety risks.

All of the factors above, and many others, play an important role in the overall health and well-being of individuals and families. At Wayspring, we believe addressing gaps in a person’s social determinants of health is critical to their success in achieving wellness and recovery. That’s why our team does a thorough assessment for each member and helps connect them to social supports and community resources so that they can focus on the things that really matter to them.

If you or someone you know is struggling to fulfill their social needs, we may be able to help. Use our 5-question member eligibility tool to find if you’re eligible to enroll today!

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